“He could see a pass, he could dribble, he could do everything. He could score any type of goal.”
Republic of Ireland legend Liam Brady has paid tribute to Diego Maradona, who passed away aged 60 on Wednesday afternoon. Maradona suffered cardiac arrest in his native Argentina, a few weeks after undergoing brain surgery.
Tributes have been flooding in for the World Cup-winning captain, who was the best player of his generation and considered by many to be the greatest footballer of all time.
Ireland legend Liam Brady pays tribute to Maradona.
Brady played against Maradona in Serie A during the 1980s. The Dubliner spent six years in Italian football, representing Juventus, Inter Milan, Sampdoria and Ascoli.
Maradona was the world’s best player and the key player as Napoli won their first Serie A title in 1987, at a time when northern Italian teams dominated football in the country.
Brady has said Maradona was the greatest player of that generation.
Brady on Maradona’s time in Italy.
“I went to Italy in 1980. Maradona came in ’83, ’84,” Brady said on RTÉ radio.
“He went to Barcelona from Argentina but Spanish football didn’t work out for him. He came to Naples, and that was the city that was made for Maradona. They idolised him.
“He brought Napoli more success than they’ve ever had. He didn’t do it single-handed but without Maradona, they wouldn’t have got those trophies.”
Brady also said it was ‘very difficult’ to play against Maradona, and that he was almost impossible to stop.
“He was like a rubber ball,” the former Arsenal and Ireland midfielder said.
“He had a very low centre of gravity. He could go in any direction and he could twist and turn. He had a great vision of the football field.
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“He could see a pass, he could dribble, he could do everything. He could score any type of goal.
“He won the World Cup for them in ’86 in Mexico. He was absolutely magnificent. He did all the damage and he made the winning goal in the final against Germany.”
“He never looked worse for wear on the pitch,” Brady continued, referring to Maradona’s lifestyle off the pitch.
“Any game he played, he was the star man. I’m sure there were times when his lifestyle got to him and he didn’t do as well as he could have done.
“But when you analyse what he did for Napoli and Argentina, you have to put him up there as one of the all-time greats.
“From the late 1970s to the mid-90s, he was the greatest player of that generation.
“He obviously had his demons, his problems. He didn’t live his life in the healthiest sort of way, but, what a player, what a character.
“I would argue that Messi is the greatest player of this generation followed closely by Ronaldo.
“When Diego was playing, there was Platini, Zico, Socrates. For me, there was no argument about who was the best.”